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Summary:

In the two days since her death, a young Iranian woman has already become a legend, a martyr and a focal point for those in and outside the ongoing Iran election protests. Information about Neda Agha Soltan, including the most basic details of her first and […]

In the two days since her death, a young Iranian woman has already become a legend, a martyr and a focal point for those in and outside the ongoing Iran election protests. Information about Neda Agha Soltan, including the most basic details of her first and last name, coalesced over the weekend, though there’s no definitive account amidst many other deaths and a lack of free-flowing information from the troubled country. However, Soltan’s death was captured on video, giving an unassailable and emotionally affecting account of its sudden and awful nature.

nedavideoSoltan, at first described as a teenager but now thought to be 27, was reportedly shot by a pro-government Basiji on a motorcycle or from a rooftop, according to various accounts, after or during a protest march in Tehran she attended with an older man who’s referred to as her father or her teacher. What’s clear from videos taken soon after the young woman was shot is that the wound was in her chest, and that she quickly started bleeding profusely from her face. And there’s no question at all that the video coverage is shocking and moving.

According to a message posted alongside copies of the video by a doctor on the scene, Soltan died within 2 minutes of being shot.

Various copies of the video and one from another angle (all graphic) have been seen thousands of times online, and she has already been memorialized in protests from Tehran to Los Angeles. However, Iran has reportedly banned collective prayers for Soltan.

We don’t see any evidence yet that YouTube — which allows violent videos that have educational, documentary or scientific value — is making any attempts to take the videos down.

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  1. The Far Edge » Blog Archive » Video of Murdered Protester: How an Iranian in Holland Made it News, The Guardian Reports Monday, June 22, 2009

    [...] More on this historic video by my colleague Liz Gannes at NewTeeVee. [...]

  2. I’ve heard some talk that Youtube has been taking some of the videos down, though it’s possible these may be copies originating from copyrighted feeds like CNN, as opposed to any “original” copies.

    Interestingly, Google (at least the Canadian version of Google) shows nothing related to the Neda video when one does an image search on the topic, which is strange, especially given that images from the video — such as on this page — are widely circulating…

    1. @Alex – I had that problem too, but I wonder if it’s because timeliness isn’t important to the image search algorithm? Or maybe there’s a filter somewhere we didn’t turn off.

      YouTube just posted on their blog that they are not taking down violent videos from Iran, just making them 18+. http://www.youtube.com/blog?entry=1AtXivH-W0U

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    [...] YouTube is likely to monetize very few mobile uploads, since it only runs ads on videos created by partners who regularly produce videos that attract thousands of viewers. Mobile video tends towards the off-the-cuff and personal. Not to say those videos aren’t valuable to the people who make them, and in some instances of citizen journalism or viral hits, a much broader audience. [...]

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    [...] citizen journalism site, iReport, saw a spike in submissions from Iran; and the mobile-phone filmed death of “Neda” punctuated the protests with an all-too-real [...]

  6. Anonymous Citizen Journalists Receive Polk Award for YouTube Video Tuesday, February 16, 2010

    [...] Polk Award for YouTube Video The anonymous Iranian citizens who captured and distributed the shooting death of a demonstrator during last year’s Iranian re-election protests have received one of journalism’s highest honors — the Polk Award. The announcement [...]

  7. Oakland on Watch as Trial of BART Shooting, Caught On Video, Reaches Verdict Thursday, July 8, 2010

    [...] local example of the power video can have in a politically unstable situation, later followed by Iranian martyr figure Neda Agha Soltan, whose on-camera death had a global and profound impact on the 2009 Iranian uprising. So later [...]

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